Becoming Catholic - how to contact a Priest?

(13 Posts)
LunaLambBhuna Sat 10-Sep-16 17:09:09

I've been thinking about converting to Catholicism for the last year and it's taken that long to pluck up the courage to contact our local Priest.

However, I have emailed him a number of times now and left messages but he hasn't responded. I feel like I'm hassling him!

What is the best way to get in contact with a Priest? He seems so busy and disappears after mass.

I think I read that RCIA often starts in September and I don't want to miss out on the start of the course.

Mrsmorton Sat 10-Sep-16 17:11:40

Have you got a parish newsletter? You might just be abe to turn up to RCIA classes. You could try hanging around before mass to speak to one of the nuns/servers depending on how they do it at your place.
Good luck and Salve!

LunaLambBhuna Sat 10-Sep-16 17:15:40

Thanks Mrs. Yes, there is a newsletter but it just says contact Fr for information on RCIA. It doesn't say when it's starting.

I may just have to hang around and wait.

freetrampolineforall Sat 10-Sep-16 17:18:05

Try another parish if this one is hard to pin down. Or if this one is the best fit for you , have a word with one of the people who do the collection. Tell them you've tried to make contact with the priest but he seems very busy and can they help.

LunaLambBhuna Sat 10-Sep-16 17:25:14

Good plan. I like the church.

Fink Sat 10-Sep-16 23:10:26

Personally I wouldn't stick around at a parish where the priest was unapproachable, but if you want to give it a go then I would suggest:

a) finding whomever looks official apart from the priest (welcomer, sister, catechist, general busybody) and get them to take you to the priest. They may well have experience of being a bit more forceful getting his attention.

b) Turn up early to Mass and say to the priest something along the lines of 'Sorry, I know you're really busy preparing for Mass. Would I be able to have a quick word with you afterwards? I'd like to join the RCIA class.' You should be able to find him by knocking on the door of the sacristy (room where he and the altar servers prepare). Try to get a definite answer from him, if necessary by prompting where you should meet him.

c) If the parish has a secretary or other staff, call and ask them to arrange a meeting with the priest.

d) If all else fails, consider going to a different Mass at the same church. It may be that the priest has to say back to back Masses on a Sunday morning and the reason he doesn't hang around after the Mass you usually go to is because he's got to get ready for the next one. Ideally, if you weren't working, a weekday Mass would probably work best, but any Sunday Mass which wasn't scheduled close to another one might be ok. Alternatively, if the newsletter lists any parish activities which are definitely run by the priest, they would be a chance to grab him too.

Fink Sat 10-Sep-16 23:11:21

I should add, I work in a Catholic parish, and even I sometimes resort to just hanging around in the corridor until the right priest comes past. grin

LunaLambBhuna Sun 11-Sep-16 10:07:20

Thanks Fink. Some good tips.

Could I go to a different parish or are they quite strict about that kind of thing?

My SIL goes to another fairly local Catholic Church. She suggested speaking to her (friendly) priest.

freetrampolineforall Sun 11-Sep-16 20:50:55

You can go to a different parish. You can go wherever you feel welcome.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 11-Sep-16 20:59:42

I was going to say, try a few Parishes and find one that you like

LunaLambBhuna Sun 11-Sep-16 21:47:43

Oh good. Thank you.

Fink Sun 11-Sep-16 22:04:51

Yes, any parish you want. It is helpful to join RCIA at the parish where you actually intend to worship, in order to join in the whole community. A part of being a Catholic is about belonging and communal identity so it's important for people, especially new converts, to have a basic community they actually belong to and can join in with. Lots of people attend a few different local parishes depending on what Mass time is convenient on a particular weekend, but ideally they'll still have somewhere which is 'home'.

You could start by looking at the websites/newsletters for a few parishes to see if there are any which catch your eye. Although our website is terrible because the job was given to someone incompetent and no one wants to upset a willing volunteer so nothing is said! But if you get past the presentation issues, you might find that some parishes have activities (social events, prayer groups, charity groups ...) which appeal to you more than others. And you can always attend groups at any parish regardless if its 'yours' or not.

If you get on with your SIL why not take advantage of the network she's already built up in her parish and go along there, I would.

LunaLambBhuna Wed 21-Sep-16 19:57:25

A little update.

I explored other churches in the area and found a nice one. I emailed the Priest, who got back to me very quickly.

The long and the short of it is I'm starting RCIA in October. Hooray!

Thanks for all the advice given.

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